July 28, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Google TV sales have been weak since the Internet-connected devices debuted in October 2010. That may finally change as Logitech is finally going to lower the price of its Google TV Revue set-top box.
After a disappointing quarter in which the entire company’s efforts had a net loss of $30 million, Logitech has decided to drop the price of the Revue from $249 to $99. This is being done to meet its “goal of accelerating adoption of the Google TV platform by removing price as a barrier to broad consumer acceptance.”
Slashing the Google TV price is part of Logitech’s long-term strategy to increase sales. The thinking is that by exposing the Revue to as many people as possible now, those customers will be more likely to favor Logitech products in the future. Current prices are too high – especially in light of competition from Apple TV, Boxee, and Roku – to offer a product that is twice as expensive but doesn’t offer much more than what other TV companions supply.
Logitech is optimistic that lowering its price will increase Revue sales, as will the planned improvements to Google TV. A new interface and support for the Android Market were promised at Google IO 2011, though an exact date for that update has not yet been confirmed. Logitech also did not say how quickly the price reduction will be reflected at retailers.
My Take on this News
This move is long-overdue. When I originally reviewed the Logitech Revue, I called it the best TV add-on that you don’t need. At $300, it was a glorified Netflix and YouTube watcher. I rather enjoyed (and still do) the product, but networks actively blocked it, Android apps never arrived as quickly as people hoped, and it didn’t offer enough to justify being three times as expensive as comparable products. This price drop will put the Revue on equal footing with other set-top boxes; maybe then we might finally see mass adoption and some much-needed energy put into the Google TV platform.